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New playground equipment for Fox Ridge park

SOLON– Thanks to donations from the Solon school district and the FORE Solon Committee, the city is beefing up its playgrounds.
The immediate impact has been at Fox Ridge Park, although improvements are planned for next year at the Solon Recreation and Nature Area (SRNA), according to Public Works Director Scott Kleppe.
“This has always been a long range plan to improve something over on this east side of Highway 1,” he explained.
The playground, at the north end of the trail and wetland area in the Fox Ridge subdivision, previously featured an existing structure repurposed from Lakeview Elementary several years ago, when the school playground was rehabilitated, Kleppe said.
City crews recently installed several new pieces at the site, including a larger orange and black climbing structure previously located at the Solon Middle School.
When the Solon Community School District was preparing to move to the new middle school, Kleppe said, playground pieces had to be removed to make room for buses.
The district offered the equipment to the city.
“We went down and picked it up, had Mark’s Auto Body repaint it,” Kleppe added.
A teeter-totter now at Fox Ridge Also came from the middle school. A dinosaur rider and a four-bay swing set came courtesy of funds from FORE Solon.
Kleppe noted the group came to the city expressing an interest in helping fund new pieces of equipment.
A 12-foot slide for Fox Ridge, also purchased with FORE Solon funds, has been ordered but not delivered yet, he said.
City crews will also lower the toddler swings at Fox Ridge from 12 feet to 8 feet to comply with new safety standards. Once new baskets for the swings arrive, public works employees will pull the set out and relocate it to the proper depth, he added.
Two more benches will also be added to the site.
“We actually have the benches, just the staffing is a little lacking to get all this stuff completed with all the other duties,” Kleppe observed.
Installation was handled by public works employees with Jay Proffitt Construction completing the earthwork and a couple of trees were relocated by a contractor.
“City staff constructed everything and got it to where it is today,” he said.
Another piece from the old middle school, the monkey bars and physical agility pieces, will be installed at the SRNA as will another four-bay swing set purchased with FORE Solon funds.
“We’re concentrating over here first, getting this done, and then next year that will be our project, trying to get that equipment up over there and to enhance the playset that’s at the SRNA,” Kleppe said.
The FORE Solon Committee contributed about $10,000 for playground improvements, he added.